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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Beach & Knitting

This week has been pretty busy. Simon has been on holiday so we've been out and about a lot. I've also been finishing off some pattern writing. I've been trying to get around to writing this blog post for days. 

This morning we started packing for our holiday to Spain. We leave in the very early hours of Monday morning (like 1am!) to drive to Stansted. Vanessa is flying off to join Emily in Norway for a week while Simon and I are flying off to Spain on monday afternoon. Then a week later the girls will join us in Spain.

When we booked our tickets we thought a 15 kg suitcase between the two of us would be fine. Turns out it's not enough. We packed earlier and after I'd packed my clothes, I added the toiletries (I do like my creams and things) and the sun cream. Em has very sensitive skin and does have allergic reactions to some sun cream brands. I know she can use Avon so I try to take enough for the whole holiday.

Then I added my knitting and that's when the row started. I ended up having to take all my knitting out. I am still taking it but it's going in my hand luggage instead and I may not be able to take as much as i'd planned. My hand luggage bag is pretty full and I need to be able to stuff my hand bag in there too as Ryan Air doesn't allow more than one bag to be carried on board the plane.

I'm usually pretty happy to carry knitting needles on the plane. Last time I was searched going through security I had 3 sock projects with metal dpns in my bag. In fact, that actually happened twice. No problem at all. This time I've got a slightly different feeling about it so I decided to put my knitting on a lifeline and I've packed the needles in the suitcase and I'm just taking one project on a knitting needle to knit on Monday.

So what am I taking? I had a skein of Silky Camel 4ply which I've loved since I dyed it. There was a skein left so I decided to knit something with it. I fancied doing a two colour shawl with beads. I've written up the 'skeleton' pattern, drawn up the chart and cast on and knitted a few rows. This is quite easy and quick knitting which is perfect for holidays.
I'm also taking the first version of the 2012 mystery KAL shawl. I've got halfway through clue 1 now and I'm enjoying it. This has quite a bit more lace but is still fairly easy but takes a little bit more concentration. 
 I've plyed and finished the Sweet Georgia Merino/Tencel I spun during Tour de France. This is the first time I've navajo plyed a whole skein and I'm fairly happy with it. It's not perfect and the singles did snap a few times but over all it's pretty good and it's knitting up lovely.
 I wound it this afternoon and cast on. But let's give you the yarn details first. The fibre was merino/tencel from the Sweet Georgia Fiber club from last spring. I've always loved this colour but was worried I'd mess it up so I decided to finally try to crack navajo plying. I spun the singles as thinly as I could as I was hoping for a 4ply/fingering weight thickness. The singles were fairly even and the final yarn is lovely. I ended up with 18 wpi which is a sports weight/light dk. I worked out that i have roughly 300m/115 gr skein. I've decided on a scarf and i'm not sure if this will end up as a pattern or not but I think it probably will. it's quick and easy and is knitting up very quickly. I've added another rep since I took this pic earlier. I'm taking this to knit on the plane on Monday.
I'm taking a sock too. I'm hoping to finish my current sock project as I'm on the last cuff (it's toe up). I want to do the same pattern but top down. My lovely Signature dpns, which I love, are being used for the toe up socks and I want to free them up so I can use them for the top down socks too. I like sock knitting on the beach as it's so small. I must admit I get some funny looks knitting wool socks in 35 degree (celsius) heat on a Spanish beach. I'm taking this pretty, pink/lilac skein of Merino Plus.

 I'm also taking a crochet project. It's a shawl consisting of squares. I've done 2 squares. I'm taking this as a plane project too. I was thinking if they confiscate my needles I should be fine with a crochet hook. The yarn is Lornas Laces Solemate which I got a few weeks ago and was desperate to try out. I had planned to knit something but fancied taking a crochet project. It's lovely to work with.
I've been doing a tiny bit of spinning this week too.  If I didn't want to finish my sock before we go I'd spin tonight while we watch Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'. But I want to get the sock finished so I can use my Signature dpns for my holiday socks.

This spinning project is going to take me a while as the singles are incredibly fine. Thinnest singles I've ever spun. The fibre is Optim (which I think is merino which has been treated to make it finer) and it's gorgeous to spin. I'd hoped to have finished it so I could knit it on holiday but that was way too optimistic. I'm about halfway through the first half I think. I'd love to get some more Optim as i'm really loving it. I also wish I could take my wheel to Spain. I feel I've got a momentum going and I would like to keep it going. I can see myself sitting on the balcony in the evenings and early mornings spinning. But although my Little Gem is a small travel wheel, it's to bit to  take. Considering Simon's reaction to my knitting, he'd have a fit if I suggested taking my wheel.
 Earlier this week we went to see Simon's parents. They had cleared out their loft and had a few items they wondered if we wanted. While Simon was looking through the stuff he saw this box which was destined for the dump.
 It's a Singer sewing machine which his Mum's aunt used to own. Simon's mum is not into crafts or sewing at all. In Bath we'd seen a display of Singer machines in the 'All Sainsts' shop and I'd told Simon that these are quite popular at the moment. So when he saw the machine he called me. My MIL asked me if I wanted the machine and i jumped at the chance.
I can't sew, I've tried both at school and at evening classes but I do not have any talents when it comes to sewing but I could do with a sewing machine so I'd like to see if this one is working. And if it's not I think it's so beautiful, so it'll be on display in the lounge. Simon has already suggested we keep it on our big dining room window sill. At the moment it's in it's box for protection. I'll take a closer look at it after our holiday to see if it's working or need some work doing to it. I reckon it'll at least need oiling.

I'm planning some blog posts and tutorials for while I'm away so please do stop by while i'm relaxing on a Spanish beach. There will be some reviews, tutorials and some 'flash' special offers. The special offers will only be available for 2-3 days and they'll be great so do stop by.

I may try mobile blogging again. Last time I tried it it failed. I've no idea how much free public wifi there is in Spain. But if I can I'll give mobile blogging on my phone a go. otherwise I won't have internet access. The shop will be closed until I get back. But you can still buy patterns.


Liz said...

Those old Singer sewing machines are beautiful. I have a modern sewing machine that can do all sorts of fancy things (or would if I worked out how to use it properly) but it is a boring, utilitarian thing to look at, not the joy yours is!

Have a lovely holiday.

Sea said...

I'm sure the machine will still be it is purely mechanical. (Such an early one would be.) It will be great for straight stitching...make your own project bags!
As for flying, I never have. I would be fighting an internal struggle between books and knitting

YarnAddictAnni said...

No problem with books. I've got a Kindle and it's loaded with books. Althugh it's 3g so can download books while i'm on the beach too. Love my Kindle & it fits in my hand bag. Simon has packed one paperback for the beach as he's not keen on taking his kindle on the beach. I'm taking mine to the beach.

Ann said...

Have a great holiday. I have the same Singer machine & use it for plain sewing & it's great as I love turning the handle.

Bryl said...

Hi if I'd known that you were going with that airline I would have sent you some hints! Such as get a coat with lots of pockets as you can stuff things in them & its bit counted as luggage! Happy holiday.

YarnAddictAnni said...

thank you Bryl, I've flown with them lots of times before and i know how awkward they are re luggage. I hate carrying a lot of handluggage though. I remember when airlines would ask you to put larger bags in the hold ... for free... rather than carry them onboard. Complete reversal now. Even saw very young kids (like 3 or 4 years old) have a full size hand luggage trolley case (pulled by a parent).